Every week, I see new clients in my office. This week, in particular, I had an overwhelming number of new comers. After careful discretion, the newcomers informed me of their past unfortunate experiences with unethical invention companies. Needless to say, those innocent inventors seeking honest guidance were ripped off. To my dismay, I heard one disheartening story after another.
It’s very hard to fathom how unethical some companies can be. Believe me, I know how exciting it is to have an idea, a true vision, and the determination and motivation to craft a unique product that you know in your heart will make a difference in this world. After blood, sweat, and tears, having it all snatched from under your nose is one of the worst, earth-shattering feelings you can experience.However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, my friends. You can avoid this agony if you follow my lead.
What you may not know is that I have been inventing and marketing my own products for more than 30 years, in addition to helping fellow inventors develop their own unique creations. I can happily share that I do everything from concept to fruition. That’s right, from a paper idea, all the way to the marketplace!
So, I must tell you, although I deeply sympathize with inventors being scammed, I’m not surprised at the stories I hear. There are many companies who prey on the uneducated consumer, especially when they see passion combined with an naive mindset regarding the inventing process. YOU are not alone. You see, those companies know who to target. They target those who come to them unarmed without the knowledge, in essence, the tools that they need to protect themselves.
I’m talking about an NDA—a non-disclosure agreement. A non-disclosure agreement is a document that outlines some details about what your product is, without giving up the rights to your product. When you allow someone to evaluate your product, your NDA states that it is for evaluation purposes only.
The NDA should include a promissory note stating that the person evaluating your product will not share your information with anyone else, nor will they copy or recreate your product for their own personal gain.Please keep in mind that the NDA does not need to be more than five paragraphs long. However, make sure it has all of the proper language that is essential to protecting your idea.
It’s important to know that, when you seek help from an invention company or manufacturer, you must arm yourself with an NDA. You can find an NDA online though any basic search engine. A few of my clients have gotten NDA’s from their patent attorneys, which is always a safe bet.
Here’s a another great tip for you: Be sure to include two places for your signature and for the person you are showing the product to, when crafting or searching for an NDA. I always tell my clients to make a copy of the NDA, sign it, date it, and send it to themselves via certified mail. This is merely a paper trail for you, and a great way to prove who you showed your product to.
On the up side, many of my clients who have gone to unethical companies in the past were still able to get their inventions off of the ground, because we moved quickly as a team to get their products protected, launching before anyone else had the chance to do it. As for the clients I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, who came to my office this week, I have some great news to share with all of you. I immediately applied for their patents, and they are now in a patent pending status.
Until next time, friends. Don’t let those unethical invention companies knock the wind out of your sails. Remember to arm yourselves with strong, confident knowledge and an NDA!